Ambassador Ian Lamont
Personal Log Entry
“White Knights & Black Tyrants”
The engineering deck was an interesting place, Lamont mused. It was full of so many....engineers. He was enveloped in a sea of gold that stretched in all directions. He was certainly in uncharted waters and without map or compass. His destination was clear however he did not have any idea what indeed he would find once he arrived. It was an interesting problem and one Lamont was oddly looking forward to discovering the answer.
As he walked down the corridor toward Main Engineering his ever observant eyes took note of the details that would inevitable now be a part of his daily existence. The walls, the floor, the smell of machinery; everything had a place here except for him. He was out of place in this mechanical world. He didn’t belong here and indeed felt alone and without power. He could operate a replicator and speak to a computer, but he had no concept of how they functioned or how to repair them. Lacking this knowledge was unnerving. He was versed in negotiation and diplomacy. Such was a world where knowing everything about those around you was critical to success or defeat. Knowledge was power in his realm. Here, in this place of mechanical marvel, he had neither. No power. No knowledge. All he carried with him was odd fascination and quiet trepidation.
The crew in gold uniforms scurried past him like busy ants building a mound. Their faces all wore purpose. They maintained the mound for the other ants and indeed the queen herself. It was just after that thought that the ship’s boson’s whistle blew and the voice of the captain rang throughout the Charon’s many decks. The workers all stopped. Lamont ‘s slow pace toward Engineering slowed as well. Eventually he too came to halt lifting his head as the queen’s words rang throughout her mound.
“Greetings my precious crew, we will be departing this solar system in two hours to continue on course to the nebula. All personnel are to be aboard thirty minutes before the time of departure. Any who return late will be forced to spend two nights in the brig. There is something else I must say. It seems certain crewmembers do not realize their place on this ship- my ship. I am the Captain of this ship and I have the complete power aboard. Never forget this, because I will use it. The tyrant of Charon will not tolerate insubordination.
Now that the issue has been addressed I expect no further problems. They will be dealt with quite harshly. All senior crewmembers are to gather in cargo bay one thirty minutes prior to departure for pre mission briefing. That is all.”
The fragile bridge to reconciliation with Shiarrael Rehu Lamont had only just begun to construct now violently twisted in a dangerous winds of a ominous, black storm. Bolts popped. Wire stretched and tore from the fresh mortar which rooted them to their bases. Indeed the entire structure was on the verge of catastrophic collapse. The bridge strained against the forces that had arrived with uncanny speed. Would it hold or be torn apart?
“Her ship! Complete power?! Was she threatening the crew? Tyrant? Tyrant. Indeed. She was a tyrant. Who did she think she was? No captain deserved the respect of a dedicated crew when they spoke like an emperor speaking to a freshly conquered and humiliated people.
It was true she was master of this ship. Her rule was absolute and without question, but why did she feel the need to constantly rub the crews’ faces in that single fact? Was she that insecure? Was she that totally isolated? Was she so filled with fear?
Lamont’s breath stuck in his throat. Was she scared? Was this her way of coping with fear? Did she believe the crew might continue to turn on her? He couldn’t believe fear had any hold on Rehu yet he was unable to dismiss the tantalizing thought. If she was truly that insecure the thought only brought comfort to Ian. There was nothing he could do of course to stop her now openly public tirades. If she wanted to act like a dictator he would let her. If she wanted the crew to fear her, he would let them. If she wanted to rule with an iron fist he would tolerate it. If her goal was to instill fear in the hearts and minds of her crew she would fail. He was unafraid and would never allow himself to be intimidated by her threats.
It was as he had told her. The tighter she squeezed this crew the more of them would slip through her fingers. The marines had revolted. Some of the crew had tried to kill her and her children after the marines had failed. Violence, as Lamont had learned, was and end to failure. Nothing but ruin could come from it. However, its vile siren song was nearly impossible to resist. He had fallen for its seductive call and only narrowly avoided total personal destruction. Who next he wondered would hear the drum beat and sharpen their dagger with the aim of running its blade through the captain’s heart? Only time would tell. Of one thing Lamont was sure. The dagger would be sharpened and its blade would again be intended for the Captain’s body. Her words and actions had again set the stage. The characters had yet to be cast and the script had yet to be written. Much to Lamont’s dismay, the show it seemed would go on. Rehu was now selling the tickets to another bloody tragedy. Only fate could see who would eventually buy them.
How stupid she was, Lamont silently said. Her authority was not in question yet she continued to make it a point to remind the crew of her absolute superiority with the delicacy of an exploding photon torpedo. She was intelligent. In fact she was possibly too smart. “Why was it then she was blind to certain truths”, Lamont shouted to himself. “Why could she not see what she was doing?”
A culture of fear only bred contempt. This was at the very heart of Lamont’s objections with the woman. He didn’t care about her command. Command was of little interest to him. What he did care about was this ship and its crew. Surely she realized that backing people into a corner and using fear and intimidation to do so would only invite retaliation! She was fueling the very fires she was attempting to extinguish with her words and actions.
The political reality was so crystal clear to Lamont. Perhaps only the keen eye of a seasoned diplomat could see such a thing. Why couldn’t he get her to realize this one immutable truth? Fear bred hatred and hatred left alone to simmer would explode with incalculable force as history had proven time and time again. She seemed eager to tempt fate, to encourage those with a taste for blood to spill it, and to risk destroying herself and those around her just to assert her dominance over all.
His teeth harshly gnashed together as he unconsciously set his jaw. “Who next would pay the price for Rehu’s vanity? Who else had to suffer and die for her vain pride as a Romulan?” This was not the empire. Those rules did not apply here. Rehu was using the wrong strategy on a chessboard that was drastically different than the one she was so intimately familiar with. Humans especially were not her pawns. When treated as such Kings and Queens fell. The human heart could not be tamed. How poorly Rehu understood this. The results of such attempts throughout the ages had always been tragic and bloody.
Lamont was an expert chess player. Manipulating its many pieces required skill, cunning, daring, and wit. He could play this game, and play it well, but it was clear that winning was not possible. He was a mere knight on a board of mighty kings and queens. However, victory did not have to be his goal. Chess had other outcomes. There was victory. There was defeat. And then there was checkmate; a stalemate – a draw in which neither side won or lost. Defeating Shirrael Rehu was beyond him, but countering her vanity to a situation of constant stalemate – that, that was a goal within his power and one that he would now pursue with passionate resolve.
He abhorred the conditions she created by her refusal to back off of this crew. They weren’t Romulans and no matter how hard she tried to stuff them all into a mold this ship would never treat her with the respect she sought so long as she ran it like that of a ship in the Star Empire. “Why couldn’t she see that?”
“COMPUTER”, Lamont shouted tapping his badge. “Inform Mr. Calhoun I will be delayed. I’ll be reporting along with the senior staff to the cargo bay.” His role was slightly ambiguous when it came to being classified as senior staff but he was determined to be in that meeting.
Unlike the males of an ant mound whose existence was only to blindly serve the queen and spawn workers, Lamont refused to be docile. Someone had to stand up to Shiarrael Rehu. Someone had to pick up the cold sword of truth, accept the pain and burden, and face the dragon in all of its foul and ugly terror. If she was going to proclaim herself a tyrant to the crew then he would proclaim himself as their champion. He would be their knight sworn to protect them against a vile curse which they themselves were nearly powerless to oppose. Sword in hand he would fight this woman until she saw reason. Her vanity and pride had to be tamed lest the crew and ship suffer greatly under its weight.
No one aboard this ship deserved to be governed by tyranny. Lamont’s family had fought against such evils for generations. Tyranny in any form, under any pretext, under any banner was still tyranny. Captain or not, Lamont could no longer stand by and watch Rehu tear this ship and its crew apart. Too many had suffered. More would follow. He had to find a way to educate her or preempt her fatal flaws.
A passionate fire burned deep within as he struggled to contain its flames. Standing quietly in the corridor of the engineering deck, Lamont coiled his arm and with an explosive release of emotion slammed his fist into the black computer console at his side.
He looked over at his fist which was embedded in shards of shattered plastic. The panel sparked and popped from the damage which surprised Lamont himself of his own destructive fury now plainly evident. He pulled his hand from the wall which was speared with bits of knife like plastic. Obsidian fragments of plastic fell to the floor at his feet as the computer panel flickered wildly. Red blood now dripped from his hand which he stared with an unusual mix of awe and wonder at the appendage before him. The drops ran together coalesced into tiny pools and gravity pulled them away.
“How much more blood will be shed”, he muttered to himself.
The eyes of the crew were upon him. Leering like children their gazes pierced him like daggers as dozens of crewmen stood unmoving in the hall. His actions had provoked a response. Now he was publically paying for his inability to constrain his fury.
With a grunt, Lamont retreated from this place of machines and its hundreds of tireless maintainers. He had a sword to sharpen and a tyrant to challenge. He had no time to waste playing here. There were fights to be fought and a black beast to be battled. The next battlefield awaited him in the cargo bay. There he would meet his foe. She had her strength and razor sharp claws. He had his sword and unshakable determination.
She might kill him. He might fall. But he refused to yield. Her vanity and pride be damned.
[ To Be Continued … ]
<<Being ill and stuck at home for four days has a few worthwhile benefits. Oh Thomas…get your football pads out. The “Tyrant” is gonna need them…>>